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Top 10 Dream Video Game Developer-Franchise Combinations

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Fred Humphries These hypothetical pairings would be a match made in heaven. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Dream Video Game Developer-Franchise Combinations. For this list, we match up various media franchises with a developer who specializes in a certain type of game that would suit the genre of that media property. Not only would the developer stay true to the franchise, they may add new elements that compliment what came before or even reinvigorate a series that has fallen on hard times. Special Thanks to our user "DaveVsTheWorld" for suggesting this topic on our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Fred Humphries

Top 10 Dream Video Game Developer-Franchise Combinations


These hypothetical pairings would be a match made in heaven. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Video Game Developer-Franchise Combinations.

For this list, we match up various media franchises with a developer who specializes in a certain type of game that would suit the genre of that media property. Not only would thedeveloper stay true to the franchise, they may add new elements that compliment what came before or even reinvigorate a series that has fallen on hard times.

#10: NetherRealm Studios & The Marvel Universe


With the last two critically acclaimed Mortal Kombat titles under their belt, there’s no doubting their pedigree when it comes to a fighting game. The question is, how well do they handle comic book IP? If Injustice: Gods Among Us is anything to go by, pretty damn well. Building on their core fighting mechanics, they add a story written alongside DC writers and fluid scenes that can take a battle to different areas of locations you’ll know from the comics. This makes every fight feel like a scene from a movie, a feature that has never really been a part of the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

#9: Telltale Games & StarCraft


If you’re looking to expand your video game franchise into the story-telling department, you need look no further than Telltale. Their resume is filled with spinoffs of massive names from film, TV and gaming: Jurassic Park, The Walking Dead and Borderlands have all successfully received the Telltale treatment. StarCraft’s lore has grown considerably since it’s RTS origins, the various book tie-ins providing so many directions for an original Jim Raynor or Arcturus Mengsk story to go, all filled with political maneuvering, tension and the odd fight of course. With brilliant looking cutscenes already a part of the campaign mode, it’s begging to be turned into an episodic epic.

#8: Naughty Dog & James Bond


Nathan Drake’s latest adventure and Naughty Dog’s last Uncharted entry plays out like a 14 hour interactive film with all the emotion, dramatic set pieces, and even its own take a secret agent mission that you’d expect from a blockbuster movie. You could easily see 007 hanging on for dear life in a train or crashing plane while you could similarly imagine Drake jumping off a dam or skiing off the side of a cliff. Bond games have often portrayed the British agent as a mindless killer in an FPS but, as recent films have shown, there’s so much more to the character than his obvious womanizing.

#7: WayForward Technologies & Mega Man


This independent developer has gained a reputation as one of the best creators of modern 2D platformers in the industry, not only for their own property like the Shantae series but for excellent licensed titles of beloved retro franchises with Contra 4, Double Dragon Neon, and DuckTales: Remastered. Wayforward has a signature style of using high quality handdrawn 2D sprites to give 2D Games a modern day feel that you really don’t see with any other developer out there. And given how Fans of the original and X series bask in its 2D roots. Now would be as good a time as ever. With the franchise’s 30th birthday arriving next year, Seeing the Blue Bomber’s return to glory would be the perfect gift

#6: Red Barrels & Five Nights at Freddy’s


No other hypothetical combination on this list would provide more content for Let’s Players than this meeting of FNaF and the creators of Outlast. Both share a genuine sense of hopelessness stemming from having such little control but once you’ve become numb to Freddy and co.’s jumpscares, Scott Cawthon’s creation appears barebones next to Red Barrels’ first ever game. FNaF’s lack of movement is frightening at first but four games in, you’ll be craving the freedom to explore the series’ enticingly vague lore. An Outlast-style first-person view with an emphasis on hiding and surviving still retains the terror while giving you the chance to discover some convoluted Purple Man theories of your own.

#5: CD Projekt Red & Mass Effect


As incredible as BioWare’s Mass Effect trilogy was, they really goofed when it came to ending Commander Shepard’s arc. Fans hated the ambiguous Starchild conclusion, leaving the series’ upcoming installment considerable work to restore players’ faith. Enter CD Projekt Red, a Polish company who created the Witcher series and always put fan needs ahead of making money. Their open-world games are already packed with things to do in beautiful locations and even though Mass Effect offers a lot of galactic exploration, it doesn’t quite possess the same degree of detail. We get that Shephard needs to save the galaxy but a closer look at the seedy cityscape of Omega would make for the perfect open-world locale.

#4: PlatinumGames & Dragon Ball Z


Hack ‘n’ slash games might seem like button-mashing nonsense to some but there’s a fine art in balancing the havoc with gameplay that players can actually keep up with. Platinum’s Bayonetta series is a leader in the genre, including action sequences that rival the over-the-top fighting of Dragon Ball Z. An X-Men game made by Platinum with lots of Wolverine would also work well but epic fights like Gohan vs. Cell are ideal fayre for a Platinum interpretation in a similar vein as their adaptation of the Transformers’ crazy battles. Nearly every Dragon Ball title up till now has been merely filler, this potential pairing could finally create a game as good as it’s source material.

#3: Nintendo & Sonic the Hedgehog


These days it’s hard to believe there was a time that when Sega’s blue hedgehog actually rivaled Mario as the most popular figure in the gaming world. To say each mascot has enjoyed varied degrees of success since the early 90s would be something of an understatement. Sonic just can’t find his place in the modern generation, stumbling from one glitchy game to the next while Nintendo consistently churn out money-spinning titles. You can’t imagine Sega ever parting with their best-known property but to avoid another Sonic Boom style debacle, it may be a mercy they need to grant the poor guy to get him running again.

#2: Rocksteady Studios & Spider-Man


With their Arkham series of third-person brawlers, Rocksteady have set the standard for every other superhero game coming in the future. Their trilogy was clearly an inspiration for the Amazing Spider-Man open-world games but they are a poor imitation of Rocksteady’s efforts. The London-based developer could look to another of New York’s heroes, Daredevil, as their next subject but Spidey’s unique way of getting around opens up so many more ways of playing. Rocksteady’s take on Gotham and the Dark Knight are some of the best on-screen comic book interpretations you’ll see, their version of the web-slinger’s Big Apple could be just as revolutionary.

Before we reveal our top pick, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions.

Rockstar Games & Deus Ex
id Software & Duke Nukem

#1: FromSoftware & Castlevania


Gothic environments, monstrous bosses and a dark, unsettling atmosphere: we really could be describing either FromSoftware’s Souls series or Konami’s Castlevania franchise. The latest Castlevania games have moved away from the usual 2D side-scrolling in favor of full 3D, a transition containing excellent visuals but unconvincing God of War-like combat. But there’s one company that does melee combat almost better than anyone else – especially when it comes to giant swords and yes, even whips, and that’s FromSoftware. Not only that, but their bread and butter is the Darkness, Death and Decay – all things that are prerequists for the Castlevania. Last but not least, fans often praise the back track encouraging, maze like, open ended nature of the Souls’ series environments, making yet another perfect fit for signature Castlevania’s Metroid-vania level desing.

Do you agree with our list? Which developer would you like to see get hold of your favorite franchise? For more hypothetical top 10s be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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